Most worn: Sew Over It Penny dress

This year I've been trying to revisit patterns that I know I already get a lot of wear out of. The Penny Dress is definitely one of my summer favourites because I love the way it looks and it's lovely and cool to wear on hot days. It's also quite a nice little one to make because the bodice is much simpler than it looks.


My last Penny was made from a rayon fabric and I think this works quite well with the pattern because it's light and drapey. It's comfortable to wear as well as taking the elasticated waist well and not adding too much bulk. This time I upgraded my rayon to an Atelier Brunette fabric. This is the Shine night viscose which I got from Lamazi Fabrics - it's usually £19 per metre but I bought mine in their Black Friday sale with an extra 20% off. It's worth the extra cost because the rayon is a very high quality and supersoft. It does crease very easily though.

In the fabric requirements it says you need 3.2 metres for a size 10, but I managed to get mine out of 2m with a lot of careful pattern placement. I would have liked to have added pockets but because I was being stingy with fabric I didn't have enough. (I may go back and add them in a different fabric at a later time if I find one that's a good match).


This is my second time making the Penny dress; there's a link to my first post here, with lots of other details. I find the flat collar and elasticated waist makes for a simpler sew, and the sleeves are also really easy to make because they aren't a separate piece. They are all flattering features, as is some gentle 50s style gathering at the shoulders.

I have the original version of the pattern, and I think subsequent releases may have adjusted the length of the torso, but mine hasn't and it is something I need to alter. I added about 2cm to the bodice length which turned out to be a much better fit and is a lot more comfortable. (It's now available as a printed pattern which I much prefer to pdf).

Love it!!!!!

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French Viscose Halterneck Dress

Confession...I actually made this last year and have only just now got around to blogging about it! After I wore it on holiday the weather has been so miserable I didn't even feel like photographing it. This is one of those dresses where you fall in love with a fabric online, and when it's delivered you love it even more. Unfortunately the pattern I used didn't hold up to the same standard of satisfaction. It was a nightmare to make and can be tricky to wear at times too. If I didn't love the fabric so much, it probably wouldn't be worn as often....

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Breaking the Pattern Solina Dress

I have been screenshotting, saving and pinning images of dresses that look pretty much like this for ages. High necks, long sleeves and midi lengths all in glamorous floaty fabrics that come together to make an elegant dress that you can wear out  in all seasons. There certainly is a gap in my wardrobe for something like this. And then along came this book, so I knew what I had to make first out of it!

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Boho Blush Shawl double feature

It's been a bit quiet over here on the blog - there has still been making but not much photography and writing! About this time last year I decided to learn to knit as well as sew, and I've been just as addicted to this as dressmaking. (If you are interested, the knitting label on the right will link you to my very first projects and how I got started with learning this new skill). I gave away my first shawl as a gift for my Nan, and found myself on holiday later in the year desperately wishing I had another (it was hot in the days but cold at night!). So whilst on holiday I spent my time looking at patterns and yarn. It just so happened the Andrea Mowry also had a sale on her patterns, so the Boho Blush shawl became top contender for my return from holiday project. I loved knitting it so much I made a second as another gift, this time for my Mum, which turned out even better!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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